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Monday, 18 August 2014 06:00 By Paul Kagame, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Yoweri Museveni
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Today’s leaders know what success will look like for this continent’s citizens and what needs to be done

The dream that the twenty-first century will be the “African Century” is powerful and intoxicating. It is also becoming reality. As African officials gathered in Washington, DC, on August 4-6 for the first US-Africa Leaders Summit, it was worth considering the basis – and the limits – of the continent’s progress.

While conflict and poverty remain serious problems in many African regions, our continent is not only more stable than ever before; it is also experiencing some of the highest economic growth rates anywhere on the planet. Over the past decade, tens of millions of people across Africa have joined the middle class; our cities are expanding rapidly; and our population is the most youthful in the world.

But Africans must not take it for granted that their time has come. Words are cheap, and, despite the continent’s positive momentum, we know that history is littered with squandered dreams – nowhere more so than in Africa.

 
Monday, 18 August 2014 05:50 By Patrick Nakabale
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Proposed amendment of Police Act should give Force parliament slots similar to army

As the Uganda Police Force (UPF) celebrates over 100 years of dedicated service to the nation, there is a proposal to amend the Police Act, which will among others, change the name of the Force to Uganda National Police (UNP). The idea behind the change of name is that Ugandans fear the word “Force”, which to me is ironical considering the fact that the NRM government has demystified the gun and made state-inspired violence a thing of the past.

The proposed amendment of the Police Act should not only change the name of the Force but also accord more powers and parliamentary representation  to the Police to enable it effectively carryout its constitutional obligation of protecting life and property, safe guarding law and order, and prevention and detection of crime.

As is the case with the Army which is duly represented in Parliament, the Police should not be an exception considering that the men and women in police uniform play an equally essential role in peace and security, besides the above cited constitutional obligations.

 
Sunday, 03 August 2014 23:25 By Esther Dyson
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Facebook’s experiment raises the issue of manipulation and unintended consequences

There has been a lot of fuss lately about the psychological experiment that Facebook conducted on nearly 700,000 of its users. In order to gauge how people’s Facebook “News Feeds” affect their moods, the company temporarily implemented a new algorithm to display slightly more positive messages to some users, and slightly gloomier ones to others. As it turns out, people’s posts shifted to reflect the tone of their friends’ posts.

But the furor missed some of the most interesting questions, focusing (as usual) on Facebook’s tone-deafness (as usual). Nobody seemed interested in the obvious question of whether the findings reflected a genuine shift in mood, or simply a desire –conscious or unconscious –to fit in.

What has people outraged is the notion that Facebook is manipulating its unwitting users to advance its own agenda, with many citing the secrecy surrounding the research to illustrate the company’s misconduct (though the company published the results with no apparent sense of unease). But, though Facebook’s lack of transparency is certainly disconcerting –as is its deafness to its users’ concerns –these complaints miss the point.

 
Monday, 28 July 2014 05:15 By Ian Goldin
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More, not less, cooperation is necessary to manage growing complexity and integration

Recent evidence suggests that much of the world has entered a period of low financial-market volatility. But this is no time for complacency; more turbulent times are likely to lie ahead.

Over the last quarter-century, rapid technology-driven globalisation – characterised by the physical and virtual integration of the global economy, including the opening of world markets – has contributed to the fastest increase in incomes and population in history. But, while globalisation has created unprecedented opportunity, it has also unleashed a new form of systemic risk – one that threatens to devastate political institutions and national economies.

Systemic risk is intrinsic to globalisation. Greater openness and integration necessarily increase the potential for cascading crises and amplification of shocks.

 
Sunday, 13 July 2014 20:37 By Joseph Bossa
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Should all ills be laid at the feet of that one person simply for being president for the last 30 years?

Fair-minded observers of, and participants in, Uganda politics agree on one thing: Uganda faces a crisis in all spheres—in its governance, infrastructure, employment, service delivery, sense of oneness as a nation, inequality, corruption and impunity to name but a few-- and change must be made as a matter of urgency. What they do not agree on is what needs to be done to put the country back on course.

On politics, four schools of thought contend as to how to put things right. These are:

  • Restoration of presidential term limits
  • Reduction of presidential powers
  • Fielding single candidates from among the opposition
  • Establishment of genuine free and fair elections
  • Each school will be examined separately.
 

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